Our Stories

Milton Raises Over $10.5 million for Endowment Campaign

May 19, 2022 by Ronit Greenstein (Faculty and Staff)

Art Installation by World Renowned Artist Zachary Oxman Unveiled

Milton is thrilled to announce that it has raised more than $10.5 million for the school’s endowment, with funds raised in the throes of the pandemic. During the initial phase of its Foundation for the Future campaign, Milton secured over $10.5 million in pledges, including more than $5 million in commitments from 47 lead community donors, plus a matching gift of over $5.5 million from Ambassador Alfred Moses, a major Jewish philanthropist and benefactor of the school. This initial phase of the campaign serves as an anchor for the public campaign, which is scheduled to launch in fall 2022.

The Foundation for the Future Campaign began in late 2019, just months before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. In spite of the timing – or perhaps because of it – Campaign Co-Chairs Pete and Rachel Federowicz, in coordination with the school’s professional staff and Board, made the decision to move forward. An endowment guarantees a long-term revenue stream that can keep an institution financially stable, operationally nimble, and able to address emerging needs such as those that arise in a pandemic. 

“We recognized that an endowment for Milton was more essential than ever. Over the past two years, in parallel to the campaign, we saw the school’s Board, administration and faculty pivot multiple times, addressing emerging needs, providing continuity, community and joy on top of a stellar education. Despite the challenges of fundraising in a pandemic, there was a real sense of necessity in launching the endowment to safeguard this important institution. We want this initial phase of the Foundation for the Future Campaign to seed the fund and to inspire ongoing, broad community support over the years to come.”

– Pete and Rachel Federowicz, Co-Chairs of the Milton Endowment Campaign

The Milton Endowment will ensure continuity of the school’s mission long into the future. Over three decades, Milton has firmly established itself as an outstanding independent school and an important entry point for Jewish life and learning in Washington, D.C.  

“Building an endowment was an integral step in creating long-term sustainability and guaranteeing permanence of our founders’ vision. This is an exciting chapter in the history of the school and we are grateful to the community for investing in the pluralist and experiential education that Milton offers.”

– Jeremy Levine, President of the Board of Trustees

As the endowment grows, it will ensure the school’s financial sustainability and bolster annual operations. Each year, interest on the endowment will infuse needed capital into the school’s operating budget and strategic priorities. In addition to financial sustainability, the school has designated its priority areas as academic excellence and innovation, and strong investment in faculty. 

“The Milton endowment is a meaningful investment in Jewish learning, leadership and continuity. Our graduates carry with them a solid grounding in Jewish texts, pride in their identity, commitment to inclusivity and diversity, preparedness for the world, and dedication to serving our country and community. 

Milton’s  extraordinary faculty possess unparalleled talent, expertise, and energy which they bring to their classrooms and the field. Our teachers have received prestigious grants and awards, mentored other teachers, piloted innovative and effective curricula in Hebrew language education and space education, and contributed to the standards and benchmarks in the teaching of TaNaKh and Rabbinics.”

– Dr. Deborah Skolnick-Einhorn, Head of School

Gifts to Milton’s endowment are invested with the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Washington (JCF), an arm of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington; JCF was previously called United Jewish Endowment Fund (UJEF). While Milton retains full ownership of its assets, monies are pooled with other UJEF funds, providing investment opportunities available only to large investors. As a partner in the Jewish Federation’s endowment program, we work together to strengthen and advance Jewish life in the Greater Washington area and around the world.

Original Art Installation by World Renowned Artist Zachary Oxman

The achievement of the challenge match was announced on May 15, 2022 at a gathering of donors representing 30 years of Milton/JPDS families and supporters. At the event, the school unveiled an art installation, entitled  “Elevating the Eternal Flame,” by world renowned artist Zachary Oxman. Commissioned to recognize gifts to the endowment, the deeply resonant work symbolizes the school’s commitment to sustain the fire, the ner tamid, of Jewish learning and to elevate the spark of every student. Featuring concentric circles around a central shin, all in a sea of blue, it evokes the ripple effects of our individual actions and the way that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. A vivid palette and a design that engages at multiple eye levels (made for the sight lines of children and adults) invite reflection and contemplation. Oxman also created a captivating companion piece that invites viewers to see themselves in the story of the school. The two original pieces designed for Milton have been installed in the Kay and Robert Schattner Center North and South Campuses. To learn more, and to see a time lapse of the art installation, see our video.

Zachary Oxman’s previous works of art include an official gift presented by President Barack Obama to Pope Francis upon his visit to the US, numerous official State gifts from the US to international Heads of State, a sculpture that was a permanent set prop on The West Wing, and many more commissions and works for exhibition.  

Hakarat HaTov: Leadership and Legacy

Enormous thanks to campaign chairs Pete and Rachel Federowicz and the lay leadership of Milton’s Foundation for the Future planning committee and Endowment Council. We are immeasurably grateful to Ambassador Alfred Moses for his matching gift of over $5.5 million, and to all the donors who made meaningful gifts to seed the Fund during the campaign’s initial quiet phase. To learn more about gifts to Milton’s endowment, contact Laurie Brumberg.